Dr. Joseph Gerson*, July 16, 2012
Full article available for download below or at Truthout
Question to Rev. Ulises Torres (former tortured Chilean political prisoner): "When do you know if you have a military government?"
Answer: "Look at your national budget."
...After more than a decade of nationally self-defeating wars, the near doubling of the Pentagon's already out-sized budget, our economic meltdown and the loss of essential social services from fire fighters and police to teachers and those who maintain our 20th century infrastructure, you'd think that we'd be thinking more critically...While too much of the media uncritically echoes the dire warnings from Lockheed Martin and the right-wing think tanks that any cuts in military spending will leave us vulnerable to terrorists, China and perhaps even Venezuela, the reality is that US military spending equals that of the world's seventeen next biggest military spenders - combined!
...For real security, we need an end to foreclosures. We need schools with enough books for all of our children. We are entitled to the knowledge that we will not die prematurely for want of medical care and access to the Internet equal to that of ... South Korea!...With campaigns like Massachusetts' Budget for All referenda, it is time to resist, not embrace, the military-industrial complex's extortion.
*Dr. Joseph Gerson is disarmament coordinator of the American Friend Service Committee and director of its Peace and Economic Security Program. His most recent book is "Empire and the Bomb: How the US Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World."